Margin Notes

CRAFT STUDIO: WRITING HOOKS USING HIDDEN TRUTHS BY ELLY SWARTZ

May
09

What I was reading:

Hidden Truths by Elly Swartz is a novel told in the perspectives of two middle school students about friendship, trauma, and the lengths at which we will go to fit in. Read more about this book and why it is great for middle school classrooms here.

The text:

Hidden Truths opened with a hook that had me considering the power that the first few words can carry for the experience of the reader. It read:

“I didn’t know today would matter.

I didn’t know it would change everything.

I thought what mattered had already happened.

I was wrong.”

Moves I noticed the author making:

  1. Short fragmented sentences. Similar to poetry, or a novel in verse, these fragmented sentences are done with purpose to pack a punch after each thought.
  2. The repetition of “I didn’t know” at the start of the lines creates a sort of flow and reinforces the inner struggle of the main character.
  3. The structure. Having the “I didn’t know… I didn’t know… I thought… I was…” structure at the start of each of these sentences gives us a sense of conflict right from the start. It gives us the sense that the character is dealing with something that has deeply impacted them and hooks the reader to want to know more.

Possibilities for writers:

  • Try writing their own hooks using the “I didn’t know… I didn’t know… I thought… I was…” structure.
  • Try using fragmented sentences to create a sense of inner conflict.
  • Write about a situation that they were wrong, trying to use repetition to reinforce struggle.
  • Look through their own independent reading to try to identify and recreate craft moves in hooks.

One Response to CRAFT STUDIO: WRITING HOOKS USING HIDDEN TRUTHS BY ELLY SWARTZ

Leave a Reply